My Messy Garden: Part 2 – Going to the Nursery

Signs of life begin to appear

Excellent Advice

First, let me thank everyone who has been giving me and my husband such wonderful advice in response to my original plea for help. Now, I feel even more inspired to breathe new life into our unkempt backyard during Garden for Wildlife Month!

I especially appreciate the suggestions to take time out to plan, enjoy each other’s company and just have fun. As Carol Miller of Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania advised, “I never say ‘I have to work in the garden.’ I always say ‘I’m going out to play.’” I love that!

Nursery Visits

In the spirit of fun, I headed to the nursery one sunny morning in search of native plants to round out our garden. Because they are indigenous to a region, native plants are wildlife-friendly and usually require less maintenance. Although I called ahead to ensure there were natives in stock, I was disappointed by the paltry selection once I arrived. Frustrated, I bought some annuals for our container garden and called it a day.

Once home, I asked my colleagues for some advice. To locate native plant suppliers near my home, they suggested that I consult the National Suppliers Directory on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Very handy indeed! Also, National Wildlife Federation has a partnership with American Beauties, a supplier of native plants and an active supporter of our Certified Wildlife Habitat® program. Simply type in your zip code on their site and you’ll get a list of participating nurseries in your area.

Armed with this information, my husband and I headed out to a more promising nursery the next morning. My better half is quite handy with the Linnaean lingo so he was able to find his way around the place much more efficiently than I had the day before. So, he had no trouble finding cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) and butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) both of which had previously been crowded out by our out-of-control obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana). We also picked up some coneflowers and aster for good measure.

After our shopping spree, we cleaned out an impressive amount of brush so we could plant our new perennials right away. The warm, sunny weather was perfect for gardening and it was gratifying to watch our garden slowly, but surely, take shape.

How is your garden coming along?

Next time: Photos of our garden’s progress!

Certify Your Garden as a Wildlife Habitat

Learn more about attracting wildlife to your garden and creating a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat® site >>